This chapter explores how Muslim consumers in the UK and Denmark understand and practice halal consumption in their everyday lives. It explains how consumers make sense of buying/eating meat and non-meat products. The chapter begins by discussing consumers who are very observant about halal and move towards the less observant or more relaxed consumers. In the UK some informants argued that more attention must be paid to the links between halal in terms of food consumption and actions, while others talked about the spiritual benefits of halal consumption. One noticeable difference between UK and Danish consumers is that Muslim consumers in the UK are generally reassured about the processes of halal qualification whereas in Denmark, the market is more limited and nonstunned slaughter is banned.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is based on extended periods of research carried out among manufacturers, shops, Jewish/Muslim organizations, certifiers and consumers in the United Kingdom (UK) and Denmark, where kosher and halal are of particular significance. It compares the major markets for kosher/halal in the UK with those in Denmark, where kosher/halal are important to smaller groups of religious consumers. The book explores and compares kosher and halal meat production and retailing in the UK and Denmark. It looks at biotech and dairy production in manufacturing companies. The book also explores how Jewish consumers in the UK and Denmark understand and practise kosher consumption in their everyday lives.
This chapter explores Judaism/kosher and Islam/halal in the United Kingdom (UK) before moving on to Denmark. It examines important background aspects of Judaism/kosher and Islam/halal in their national contexts. The market for kosher in the UK has a long history that can be traced back to the nineteenth century. The UK is both a major market in terms of local religious production, trade, regulation and consumption as well being central to the formation of the global market. In Denmark local consumption is not essential, but production and regulation are tightly intertwined with global markets, including the UK, Manchester and London in particular. Denmark is a major exporter of both food and non-food products and thus halal is an important question for the state and companies. Halal food is widely available in Denmark and the country is a major exporter to the Muslim world.
This chapter explores how Jewish consumers understand and practise their everyday (kosher) food consumption in two case countries: the market in the UK is not only large and expanding, but also more integrated into the global market for kosher. This is different from the case in Denmark, where there is only one kosher shop in the entire country and where the purchase of kosher products on the Internet or bringing food back from abroad has greater significance. The chapter explores to what extent they are focused on kosher as specific forms of standardised 'qualities' in their everyday lives. It explains how 'compound practice' links eating with issues such as health and spirituality, for example, and with the influence of secularism and ritual. It soon becomes clear that all the consumers are acutely aware that they living in a world where kosher markets are globalising.
This chapter explores the manufacture and production of kosher and halal meat in London and Manchester in the United Kingdom and also in Denmark, with specific reference to audits/inspections, legislation, networking, product innovation and certification. It explores how different certification bodies and religious authorities define kosher and halal meat through inspection and labelling during manufacture, and how authority and trust emerge in the supply chains through which meat qualifies as kosher and halal. The chapter demonstrates how the attribution of the distinguishing characteristics that qualify meat as kosher and halal starts at the abattoir and finishes only when a product is placed on the counter of a trusted retailer. It draws on interviews with kosher and halal certification bodies and other supply chain actors such as butchers and retailers, plus ethnographic work fieldwork and observations in London, Manchester and Copenhagen.
Over the last two decades, global demand for kosher products has been growing steadily, and many non-religious consumers view kosher as a healthy food option: in the US over 60 per cent of kosher food consumption is linked to non-religious values associated with health and food quality. This book explores the emergence and expansion of global kosher and halal markets with a particular focus on the UK and Denmark. While Kosher is a Hebrew term meaning 'fit' or 'proper', halal is an Arabic word that literally means 'permissible' or 'lawful'. The book discusses the manufacture and production of kosher and halal meat (both red meat and poultry) with specific reference to audits/inspections, legislation, networking, product innovation and certification. It draws on contemporary empirical material to explore kosher and halal comparatively at different levels of the social scale, such as individual consumption, the marketplace, religious organisations and the state. It compares the major markets for kosher/halal in the UK with those in Denmark, where kosher/halal are important to smaller groups of religious consumers. Denmark plays an important role in biotechnology that is compatible with what we call kosher/halal transnational governmentality. The book explores how Jewish and Muslim consumers in the UK and Denmark understand and practice kosher consumption in their everyday lives. It also explores how 'compound practice' links eating with issues such as health and spirituality, for example, and with the influence of secularism and ritual.
Ireland’s referendum and the journey from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft
This chapter examines the implications for Irish Catholicism that the ‘Yes’ vote in the May 2015 referendum on same-sex marriage may have for the social and cultural position of the Catholic church in contemporary Ireland and in the future. His analysis channels the thinking of Ferdinand Tönnies, an early German sociologist and a contemporary of Durkheim and Weber, who used the German words ‘Gemeinschaft’ and ‘Gesellschaft’ to distinguish between two fundamentally different structural paradigms for social relations. O’Brien sees marriage as a core ideological signifier of ideological hegemony, and using the fantasy fiction of Terry Pratchett’s satire on religion entitled Small Gods as a lens, he looks at the referendum as a significant turning point in the definition of marriage, and by extension, in the transformation Irish society from the organic community of the Gemeinschaft, to the more postmodern and pluralist notion of the Gesellschaft.
Joe Cleary’s chapter examines what the future of the Catholic Church is now that one of the great threats to its hegemony during the twentieth century, communism, has fallen largely into abeyance. Will the Church continue to align itself with capitalism and ignore the steady grip of the associated neoliberal agenda that favours secular, material values over religious ones? In contemporary Ireland, it often seems as though a blind adherence to religion has been replaced by an equally blind embrace of neoliberalism. Cleary asks what psychological price the Irish will pay for their submissive compliance with the fashionable ideas of the moment and explores how a healthy relationship with the Church might be developed in such a changed cultural environment.
Vincent Twomey’s thought-provoking essay sees reasons for hope in the midst of all the problems currently besetting Irish Catholicism. He opines that people’s faith has withstood the turmoil within and without the Church and argues that there are signs of the kind of renewal that was recommended by some of the documents of Vatican II. Detecting these signs is important in revealing the newly opened up possibilities (and risks) for a more humble Church that seeks to fulfil its God-given mission to bring joy to the world of today. The re-evangelizing of Ireland will not happen easily: it requires placing more emphasis on the beauty of lived Christianity and, by extension, of everyday sanctity.
Church, State and modernity in contemporary Ireland
David Carroll Cochran
Using Charles Taylor’s A Catholic Modernity? as its starting point, David Cochrane explores the evolving role of Catholicism in Ireland over the last half century and concludes that the disentangling of the Church from the dominant political and cultural institutions of society has paradoxically extended many of the very values Catholicism celebrates. Due to the severing of its close traditional connection to the State, the Church has rediscovered its original mission to provide a prophetic spiritual voice, especially in favour of the poor, and to align itself more closely with the concerns of its founder, Jesus Christ.